Hats Off Day – El Mariachi, Cioffi’s & Fortuna Bakery

We are still relatively new to Vancouver, so when we start hearing about big events from lots of different sources (in this case, CBC radio, Sherman, and the super nice cleaning staff at my office all alerted us about Hats Off Day in Burnaby’s The Heights), we had to check it out.

Looking west down Hastings @ Gilmore Street

Looking east down Hastings @ Alpha Avenue

We had no idea how big a crowd there was going to be – we were shocked to see thousands of people enjoying the gorgeous, sunny day.  We must have missed a parade (and a lion dance, by the tale-tell signs of smashed lettuce on the ground), but there were still lots of musicians and other performers around.

We had skipped breakfast, so were totally in the mood for some food – we started off with a few tacos from El Mariachi.

Located on the 2nd floor @ Hastings near Esmond

I ordered a chicken taco, Chris had a shredded pork one.  They were pretty good, but needed more cilantro or other veggies to add crunch!

Chicken Taco from El Mariachi

Chris also ordered a Tamarind flavoured Jarritos pop – I’d never had it before, and it wasn’t as sweet as their other sodas.  I liked it, but I’d prefer if it had been served colder.

Tamarind pop!

After some wandering around, we found Cioffi’s which, over two separate locations, offers an impressive variety of Italian products – from a full-service in-house butcher shop, to a cheese counter, fresh pasta offerings, bakery items, and lots of pantry goods.  It looked fantastic.

Cioffi's near Hastings & Gilmore

I got a deli-sized takeout container of Tiramisu from their bakery/cheese shop side – it was a bargain at $3.49.  It was delicious too!

Soooooo good!

Having had desert, we were next in search of a seafood course (I love crazy mixed up meals at festivals like this!).  We saw smoke, and a lineup, and a Portuguese bakery – that could only mean one thing…


We lined up, got our ticket for a giant Portuguese bun and 3 sardines for $5 – this was a great value!

Fortuna bakery near Hastings @ Carleton

The three sardines we got were HUGE – and so incredibly delicious.  They were a bit of challenge to eat while sitting on the sidewalk in front of the curling store, but they were worth it.

Deliciously sustainable!

They were also selling fish (cod) cakes, which were at $1 a piece, not the best value.  They were tasty, but sadly, cold and small.

Excuse the bite missing (my bad!)

Also from Fortuna, we got a Portuguese custard tart.  Not unlike the Chinese egg tarts, this type is also made of a flaky dough with a rich, vanilla-flavoured custard.  The Portuguese twist is the caramelized top.

Excuse the bite - Chris couldn't restrain himself!

We saw lots of other good looking eats around, including this very impressive smoked chicken set up by the legion.

There have to be at least 100 chicken quarters per grill!

One final desert – for the ladies!  One of the activities at Hats Off Day was a dunk tank – featuring firemen!  Enjoy!

So many double-entendres come to mind! 😉

Fortuna Bakery on Urbanspoon
El Mariachi on Urbanspoon

This entry was posted in Food, Happy, Miscellany, Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hats Off Day – El Mariachi, Cioffi’s & Fortuna Bakery

  1. so close but so far! I drove by here on the wkend but didn’t check it out 😦

  2. Pingback: Burgers Etc. « parkerpages

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